Oct 31, 2003 Trip Report
- Hello, Seabirders,
Sorry for this late report.
On October 31st, Halloween, the West Coast Seabird IFO (Institute for
Ornithology) Workshop sponsored by the ABA (American Birding Association)
held their second pelagic trip. The trip departed from Santa Cruz under calm
seas and skies.
Imagine our shock at being surrounded by no less than 58 MARBLED MURRELETS
just off of the Santa Cruz Boardwalk and roller coaster!! Apparently they
were recently blown in by the high winds the day prior to our trip. (We had
a report of winds 40, gusting to 60 at the Farallon Islands, damaging some
equipment). We believed these murrelets were from populations much further
to the north of us, possibly the Queen Charlotte Islands, or Alaska, rather
than the local population. We searched hard for any Long-bills among them,
but found none. In the gleaming sunshine, they were just stunning in their
Other highlights included: BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS (8), NORTHERN FULMAR
(250), PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER (50), BULLER'S SHEARWATER (6), SOOTY
SHEARWATER (8), RED PHALAROPE (300), POMARINE JAEGER (7), BONAPARTE'S GULL
(10), HEERMANN'S GULL (40), CALIFORNIA GULL (150), HERRING GULL (10),
THAYER'S GULL (1 imma.), WESTERN GULL (400), GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL (15),
COMMON MURRE (20), MARBLED MURRELET (58), RHINOCEROS AUKLET (200), CASSIN'S
AUKLET (15), TUFTED PUFFIN (10), SURF SCOTER (20), SURFBIRD (4). A highlight
of the trip was 7 BAIRD'S BEAKED WHALES, surfacing close to our bow!.
All in all, it was an excellent day. I noted that we saw fewer Northern
Fulmars than the 3000 that we reported on October 29th. We did find dead
fulmars at sea. Shearwater Journey's leaders had noticed the great influx of
fulmars beginning on the October 15th trip from Fort Bragg. We expected that
many would die of starvation. Also, I note that there were very few alcids
in Monterey Bay for the week of October 29-31. The numbers are especially
low for this time of year.
Debi Shearwater <debiluv@...>
P.O. Box 190
Hollister, CA 95024